The mixture of politics and technology proved to be very successful for the 2008 race to the white house. This video, posted last summer in the heat of the campaign, explains how big this had really become:
The first time technology really worked in favor of a presidential candidate was for John F. Kennedy during the 1960 elections, with television as the up and coming medium. And to think… that was just under 50 years ago! We’ve come a long way, and we all know that technology continues to become more efficient at exponential rates. It is hard to imagine that Facebook was a small social application limited to college students during the 2004 elections.
The key to winning the 2012 elections can be summed up by learning from Obama’s campaign strategy in 2008. In Edelman’s “Social Pulpit” report, these are described as follows:
- Laddering support through tiers of engagement (personal, social, and advocate)
- Empowering super users
- Providing source material for user-generated content
- Going where the people are
- Using tools people are familiar with
- Ensuring that people can find your content
- Mobilizing supporters through mobile devices
- Harnessing analytics to constantly improve engagement activities
- Building the online operation to scale
- Choosing the right team
Obama’s campaign is pure genius for getting this right the first time (my professor described this very well in his Infonomics column). These lessons will be the basis of the 2012 elections and the trick to winning – adapt to new technologies and apply them in intelligent ways. The major difference in 2012 will be with #5 (with the emergence of new and improved tools) and #10 (choosing the right team members who will collaboratively make the right decisions). Striking the perfect balance between technology and face-to-face communications will also be a key factor to winning the future race to the white house.
To give you an idea of where we’re headed, think about this: Moore’s Law states that computers will become twice as fast and half as cheap every 2 years. This means that by the next election, technology will allow us to accomplish things that I can’t begin to fathom or describe. I am anxious to see how this all unfolds!